Meet Kettal, the outdoor furniture brand that aims to turn the garden into the most stylish space in any home
We chat to Alice Black, co-director of London’s Design Museum, about what’s inspiring her, as well as taking a closer look at two revolutionary furniture brands: GHYCZY and Kettal
Founded in 1966 by Manuel Alorda, Barcelona-based brand Kettal’s boundary-pushing designs have been transforming outdoor furniture for 50 years. In advance of garden party season, we talk to the company’s vice president, Alex Alorda.
How has working with big-name designers shaped the brand?
Our first designer item was the ‘Oscar’ chair, created by Oscar Tusquets in 1994, but the biggest step forward came in 2006 with Patricia Urquiola’s ‘Maia’ collection – it reinvented outdoor furniture. The interwoven design was full of energy, character and was different to anything seen on the market before. It marked the start of a new phase – we began to work with more designers, such as Jasper Morrison, Hella Jongerius, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and Doshi Levien. Is innovation important to Kettal? We actively seek out new materials and ways to produce our collections. Our most groundbreaking pieces have to be our fabrics, such as ‘Nido d’ape’ by Patricia Urquiola. A three-dimensional fabric created as a result of more than two years of research, it’s breathable, washable and resists friction and the elements. Tell us about the design process… The human factor is very important in our factory – manual processes take priority over the mechanical. Eighty five per cent of Kettal’s products are handmade and we do things that wouldn’t be possible on a normal production line. For the Bouroullec brothers’ ‘Stampa’ chair, we combined six different manufacturing techniques, traditional and new, using all the knowledge we’ve built up over 50 years. What’s new? Doshi Levien has redesigned the ropes that are a quintessential part of many of Kettal’s products. Its ‘Bela Ropes’ range and ‘Parallel’ fabrics – which have a weave that allows sunlight to pass through and cast a patterned shadow – will both be used across all our new collections. Also, expect to see even more collaborations with regular and new designers ( kettal.es).
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